The Die

A single die lay on the ground at my feet; six-sided, white, and dotted.  It was almost unnoticeable in the bright sun of midday amidst the concrete, yet I did take notice, and stopped to pick it up.  Upon first touch, time slowed for just a moment, or so it seemed; quite like a head rush after standing too fast.  The die seemed heavier than it should have, or maybe it was the heat wearing on me.  Perhaps I was light-headed; the sun did hate me so, and I so hated it in return.  Its great heat had drained all of whatever vigor I had once possessed, and I longed to arrive at my destination and be rid of the foul scathing beast.  I thought it best to drop the die and be on my way.

Even before I had raised upright, there was no mistaking the difference in color.  Was this the beginning of a migraine?  Hues of all variety faintly danced in my vision, mingling with flashes and dots of pure white.  I steadied myself and thought it best to get away from the great ball of torture in the sky before I really did faint, and so I looked for shade.  I spotted a small alcove in front of a building just to my right, and there I sat on the ground.

I sat for a time that I do not know.  My legs were stretched out before me and my arms were splayed out at my sides, and I was leaning against something solid.  And, in my right hand, with palm turned upward and open, I saw the die.  I could have sworn I had dropped it.  It became apparent to me that I was far too weak to move even my fingers, and so I sat in petrified nothingness unable to take my eyes away from the die.

Some eternity later, I began to feel emotion in my state of petrification.  It began as what I can only describe as calm euphoria.  Nothing mattered and everything mattered.  Everything was perfect and also imperfect.  Everything was light and dark at the same time.  This turned into a sort of joy and that joy turned into a sort of pleasure.  It was like I had taken all the good drugs in the world at once and I was delightfully overdosing on my own death.

This would not last.  All emotions came and went over my eternity.  Pain, sorrow, anticipation, fear, surprise, jealousy, rage, love, pity, shame, and so many others became my reality, all at once and individually.  I saw and felt things I had never before.  Two lovers high on some unknown drug in passionate bliss.  A young boy beaten and raped by his father while strapped to a saw horse.  Four passengers in mid crash, their pain and vacuity at the moment of their deaths.  A loyal dog’s joy and excitement as its owner returned home after a week away.  So many church worshipers singing in unison.  An entire crowd of parents and students at a graduation ceremony.  A cancer patient’s pain and despair.  I felt all of these things and so many others.  After a time, I could not distinguish them.  The sensory overload was too much to bear.

A soft voice whispered, “Roll.”

A distraction from my state.  “What?”

Louder it said, “Roll.”

“But I cannot even move.  I cannot even see any longer.  I can no longer feel my body.”

The voice became wholly feminine and soothing, and still, it said, “Roll.”

“I do not know how.”



The voice became louder.  “Roll.”

I said nothing.

The voice turned into a mix of masculinity and femininity and said again, “Roll.”

“I do not understand.”

Louder still, “Roll.”

The sensory overload faded a bit and I became aware of my body once more.  Was the die still in my hand?


The die was, in fact, still in my hand.

The voice became angrier.  “Roll.”

I was becoming aware of my own emotions again.  “To what end?” I asked.


“What if I refuse?”

Even louder still, the voice boomed, “Roll!”

“I don’t think I want to.”

The voice became demonic in tone and drowned out all sensory overload.  There was only the voice.  “Roll!”

I closed my fist around the die.


I refused to respond.



The presence of the voice suddenly faded away.  I felt the sun again.  I felt peace.  I felt relief.  I felt quiet.  Though I still could not see.  I did not attempt to move again for some time.

Slowly, the sun became hotter and brighter.  And, was it getting closer?  I tried to move only to find myself paralyzed once more.  The heat gradually became unbearable.  I began to hear footsteps.


My emotional void began to fill with fear and I struggled to move, but it was no use.  I could hear faint breathing in the distance.  More heat.


The heat was too much.  I could feel malice and rage in whatever was approaching.  The breathing became louder.


I could not move!  Fear had overtaken all emotion.  I could feel my body straining against the paralysis.  I could not move!


It was as if the entire swarm of negative emotion I experienced before had converged on the approaching beast.  Still, it approached!


The breathing became raspy and harsh.  The beast’s animosity knew no bounds.  The beast was close now.  So close!  I struggled and struggled against my immobility.  I began to despair.  It comes!


I was burning!  There was so much pain!  The beast was at my face then!  Its foul breath burning my cheek even more so than the rest of my body.  It felt as if my very soul was on fire.  I could feel its intent.  So much unbridled rage encompassed its entire being and I knew I would never not burn again.  I would burn for eternity.  And then it spoke with an evil voice in my burning ear.

“You should have rolled.”

Coming Out

I was alone, so utterly, devastatingly alone. I existed in the dark, feeling like I would never be able to truly be myself. I wanted to die. I thought about nothing else but dying. I hated this world and I hated myself. I had always been confined to the very back of the closet, invisible and unwanted.

But then I met you.

You pulled me out of the closet, unwilling as I was, but you didn’t care. No. You yanked me out of the closet like I was a long lost friend whom you hadn’t seen in a lifetime. You didn’t give a damn what I was; no, you accepted me for what I was, even liked me as such. You’d tell me all your secrets, and I’d share all of mine. We’d laugh and cry together. We had a connection the likes of which I don’t think I’ll ever experience again.

Do you remember all those times we danced around the kitchen? Sometimes we’d sing together, too, though neither of us had a singing voice, and occasionally we’d play air guitar together, looking just as silly possible. We didn’t care. It was the greatest time of my life. I’ve never felt so alive. And the parties were so grand. I loved preparing for them with you. I never really cared for the guests, but it didn’t matter, I still couldn’t wait for the next one to prepare for. I could always feel your excitement and joy preparing for them, and it brought me so much excitement and joy.

And little Johnny—oh God little Johnny—I loved him so. He was always so glad to see me. We’d play together for hours. He never cared what I was. He never even asked; such is the innocence of children. We’d play horsy together and have these epic sword fights that seemed to last for hours, but he did grow out of it eventually. I miss those times.

Do you remember that fight? The one where you threw the glass against the wall and it shattered into a million pieces all over the dining room? We cleaned it up together and we both cried the entire time. I offered to clean it myself, but you would have none of that. We always did those things together. I knew we’d always be together.

But something changed. You… lost interest in me. What did I do? Have we drifted apart? Has my horrible singing voice finally clawed on your nerves to the point that you no longer like me? Do you not love me anymore? Is that other guy so much better than I am? The guy I saw you dancing with through the crack in the door? Did you even know I was there? I don’t understand.

I have realized one thing, however, as I sit here on the curb in the rain crying my eyes out, waiting on the garbage man to come collect me. And what’s more, my brother dust pan agrees and we have a plan. That Swiffer mother fucker must die.